January was the best month for the stock market in 25 years. Unfortunately, a huge number of retail investors have been so shell-shocked by the 2008 collapse that they still remain on the sidelines. This is one of the primary reasons why trading volumes on the New York Stock Exchange and others have been so low.
So, the question becomes whether it is too late for them to benefit from the current bull market? Take a look at this chart:
In the last 111 years, there have been 13 bull markets that followed bear markets dropping at least 30%, which means there is one about every 8.5 years. This chart shows me that this bull market is still quite young. (More surprising to me is that the strength of this market is about average, even though the economy is growing more slowly due to de-leveraging.)
The point is that history suggests it is NOT too late to get back into the market.
Of course, not only is past investment performance not any guarantee of the future, neither is history, darn it!